When a child has epilepsy, the entire family may be impacted. Therefore, it is important to talk openly about the issues. Set aside some time to speak with each member privately. Siblings may not want to ask questions for fear of upsetting their brother or sister with epilepsy. It is important to dispel any irrational fears or misconceptions about seizures and epilepsy early. For example, a sibling may fear that they will get seizures or may blame themselves for causing the seizures.
Family life can easily become overwhelmed by doctor’s visits, hospitalizations, and special care plans. Do your best to set aside special time for each family member, including yourself.
Special Issues for Teens
Adolescents are often very self-conscious. Seizures and epilepsy may make a teen feel different from their peers. Educating your teen and his or her peers can make a difference. Specifically, teenage girls should know how epilepsy may relate to puberty, menstruation, sexuality, and pregnancy. Help your teen talk with others about their seizures, whether in person or through an online support community.
Driving is important to teens with epilepsy. As your teen approaches driving age, set aside some time to discuss the special medical and legal issues that may impact driving for your child.
More information on driving and epilepsy:
Epilepsy Outreach Phone Line
Boston Medical Center Pediatric Neurology has created a telephone line in order to help promote community awareness, education and advocacy for children and their families in coping with seizures and or epilepsy. The target audience includes children who have had one or more seizures or epilepsy and their daycare and school personnel, primary care providers, parents and relatives.
We understand that families, school personnel, and affected children may have many questions about epilepsy and seizure evaluations, management, and medication treatments, as well as about the social, educational, and emotional impact of having seizures or epilepsy. If you have a question, please call. We're here to help. Our hours are Monday – Friday, 9 AM - 4 PM. The telephone number is 617.733.8355.